Aside from the Principia and occasional appearances of the Opticks, Newton's writings have remained largely inaccessible to students of philosophy, science, and literature as well as to other readers. This book provides a remedy with wide representation of the interests, problems, and diverse philosophic issues that preoccupied the greatest scientific mind of the seventeenth century.
Grouped in sections corresponding to methods, principles, and theological considerations, these selections feature cross-references to related essays. Starting with an examination of the methods of natural philosophy -- including the rules of reasoning, the formulation of hypotheses, and the experimental method -- the essays explore the laws of motion and the relationships between God and gravity, creation, and universal design. Discussions of questions related to natural philosophy include theories on light, colors, and perceptions. The volume concludes with absorbing selections from the Opticks and a helpful series of historical and explanatory notes.